Pauline Hanson and her surrogates’ default ‘freedom of speech’ defence is practically an involuntary reflex whenever they are called out for their bilious public statements.
So it is kind of ironic that Hanson herself reacts with such venom to Professor Warner’s use of her own freedom of speech, with the Senator going so far as asking the Governor to consider resigning her position.
To give Hanson a small amount of credit she does include one argument that is not immediately contradicted by her own previous statements. She points out that by convention a Governor’s role is to be non-political (of course by convention a Senator’s role is to work to make their country better, so anytime One Nation want to get serious about upholding convention is fine with me). So I’ll grudgingly admit she at least has an argument, but she then fails to recognise the important difference between a convention and a rule. Governors and Governor-Generals can be political if they choose (just ask Gough Whitlam).
That is the only half-legitimate point Hanson makes, but the rest of her comments are noteworthy for their stupidity, even by the Senator’s fairly lofty standards of simplicity. Without a trace of irony, Hanson then goes on to describe Professor Warner as naïve and misunderstanding the situation, before returning to her dogmatic statements about Australia being ‘swamped’ and ‘colonised’ by Muslims.
Putting aside her arrogant condescension of someone well-qualified to disagree with her facile reasoning, Hanson’s true faceplam moment came with this sentence.
“And secondly she has broken the rules of public discourse that those in high positions should speak with civility and wisdom.”
When Hanson and her wacky sidekick Malcolm Roberts start talking with civility and wisdom, could someone let me know.
As for Hanson’s suggestion that the Governor resign, I would suggest a quick poll of who the Australian public (because our government is all about these sort of thing all of a sudden) would like to see resign first out of Professor Warner and Senator Hanson would be pretty definitive. It wouldn’t be the Governor.